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The other day I was walking in the forest above the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve when my musings were disturbed by a raucous, almost hysterical laugh. For some reason, the thought that flashed through my mind was "My God, Laughing Sal!"
For many years, Laughing Sal epitomized the spirit of San Francisco's Playland at the Beach, an amusement park whose history stretched back to the turn of the 19th Century. Take a look at San Francisco's Playland at the Beach: The Early Years, or check out a good video of the park's later years called Remembering Playland. Today, Sal resides down at Fisherman's Wharf in the Musee Mecanique. Stop by, throw a quarter in the slot and share a few laughs.
Did You Know?
For many years, the only place that you could get one of San Francisco's unique ice cream sandwiches, “It's-It,” was Playland. They were originally not available in any store.
Joe Toschik is a Public Services Librarian at Half Moon Bay Library.